Menopause Symptoms and Treatment with HRT Increases Severity of Asthma Attacks

by Laura Ramirez on September 28, 2011

A new study shows that menopause symptoms and treatment with HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can increase the severity of asthma attacks leading to more hospitalizations in menopausal women with asthma. Although the link between taking hormones to help women get through menopause and asthma attacks is well known and has been supported by previous studies, it is the first study to show that taking HRT increases the number of hospitalizations. Of course, once again this highlights the importance of weighing the risks versus the benefits of taking female hormones.

The study was recently presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Amsterdam. The doctors leading the study reviewed and analyzed the medical records of 23,138 women from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort to come up with their findings. In addition to looking at the use of hormone therapy, the doctors controlled for factors like body mass index, whether patients smoked or not or had ever had a hysterectomy or been exposed to known environmental hazards.

Here’s what has to say about the study:

Women taking postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may have an increased risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospitalisation, scientists warn. A new study, which was presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Amsterdam, adds to the debate over the health effects of the drug which helps women through the menopause.

Dr Klaus Bønnelykke, from COPSAC, said: “Previous research has suggested a link between asthma and female sex hormones, especially HRT. Our findings not only confirm this link, but also extend this to severe asthma exacerbations. We still need the final proof from randomised trials, but we believe that the suspicion is now so strong that it should be brought to the attention of clinicians. If a patient develops asthma or has a severe worsening of symptoms after taking HRT, they may need to stop hormone therapy altogether.” ..

menopause symptoms and treatment

Menopause symptoms and treatment with HRT can increase severity of asthma attacks.

The study showed that women were 1.3 times more likely to be hospitalized for severe asthma attacks if they were taking hormone therapy. It also showed that the longer the woman had been taking hormone therapy, the greater the likelihood of asthma attacks requiring hospitalization. The study did not specify what form of hormone therapy was used or if using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy might have an effect on the findings.

If you are an asthma sufferer, how do you feel about this article on menopause symptoms and treatment with HRT? Do you think the findings from this study might make you think more deeply about the risks of hormone therapy or consider alternative treatments? How do you feel about the possibility of stopping HRT when doing so could make you start suffering from symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings and the like? Please leave your thoughts and tips below.

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